© 2011

Remembering Sofya Kovalevskaya


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Michèle Audin
    Pages 15-23
  3. Michèle Audin
    Pages 25-28
  4. Michèle Audin
    Pages 29-70
  5. Michèle Audin
    Pages 89-108
  6. Michèle Audin
    Pages 109-123
  7. Michèle Audin
    Pages 125-147
  8. Michèle Audin
    Pages 149-155
  9. Michèle Audin
    Pages 157-179
  10. Michèle Audin
    Pages 181-197
  11. Michèle Audin
    Pages 243-260
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 261-284

About this book


Sofia Kovalevskaya was a brilliant and determined young Russian woman of the 19th century who wanted to become a mathematician and who succeeded, in often difficult circumstances, in becoming arguably the first woman to have a professional university career in the way we understand it today. This memoir, written by a mathematician who specialises in symplectic geometry and integrable systems, is a personal exploration of the life, the writings and the mathematical achievements of a remarkable woman. It emphasises the originality of Kovalevskaya’s work and assesses her legacy and reputation as a mathematician and scientist. Her ideas are explained in a way that is accessible to a general audience, with diagrams, marginal notes and commentary to help explain the mathematical concepts and provide context.

This fascinating book, which also examines Kovalevskaya’s love of literature, will be of interest to historians looking for a treatment of the mathematics, and those doing feminist or gender studies.


19th century mathematics Sofya Kovalevskaya

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1., IRMAUniversité de Strasbourg et CNRSStrasbourgFrance

About the authors

Michèle Audin; Professor of Mathematics at IRMA, Université de Strasbourg et CNRS, France

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


From the book reviews:

“For those who have already read one or two of the numerous biographies, Audin’s portrayal can serve as a valuable addition and a stimulus to rethink opinions already formed. Moreover, for scholars conducting research on Kovalevskaya, the multifaceted potpourri presented in this book will raise a lot of interesting questions and perspectives from which to approach their subject in a different way.” (Eva Kaufholz-Soldat, Historia Mathematica, Vol. 40 (4), 2013)

“The book under review is devoted to Sofia Kovalevskaya. She was the first woman with a university professional activity. This book gives a particular vision of her. … The book provides a picture of Sofia Kovalevskaya that stresses the unity of different aspects of her personality. It has been published in a very nice way, it contains a lot of illustrations and photos. It will be an interesting source of information about Kovalevskaya, even more interesting because it contains the author’s personal view of her.” (Roman Murawski, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1234, 2012)